Canada’s Telus has launched its LTE-M IoT network across British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada plus major centres in Manitoba, claiming the most comprehensive LTE-M coverage in the country. It says it is aiming to offer secure, reliable connectivity for IoT deployments of any size including low power, wide area (LPWA) applications such as smart cities, logistics and agriculture ‘well into the 5G future’. Telus is providing the ‘LTE-M Starter Kit’ to enable developers and tech companies to prototype cellular connected IoT devices utilising the new network, whilst the Telus ‘LTE-M Asset Monitor’ is a certified device to plug into existing applications to collect data such as location, motion and temperature, alongside Telus’ range of certified LTE-M modules. The company also announced the launch of the ‘Telus Technology Incubator’ focusing on IoT start-ups in partnership with Calgary Technologies, providing access to necessary development tools and industry experts.
Turkey’s Turkcell and Chinese tech giant Huawei have begun a smart cities collaborative project, which the cellco’s chairman Ahmet Akca said ‘will enable our cities to become smarter through being equipped with 5G technologies’. As reported by the Daily Sabah, Turkcell and Huawei will develop smart solutions based on the mobile operator’s mobile/fixed broadband, NB-IoT connectivity and cloud computing/data centre services, whilst Huawei will bring vertical solutions including smart transportation, smart water and smart parking, alongside IP/IT products. Li Dafeng, Director of the Huawei ICT Infrastructure Managing Board Office, said the agreement will pave the way for digital transformation in Turkey.
Elsewhere in Turkey, Turk Telekom signed a deal with General Electric (GE) Digital to explore collaboration in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Under the ‘Digital Transformation of Industrial Companies’ memorandum of understanding (MoU) Turk Telekom said it will provide services to support industrial companies’ digital transformation strategies; CEO Paul Doany said: ‘With GE Digital, we will be able to identify the digitalisation level of the companies and provide them with digital solutions that have become part of the business world with the Digital Industrial revolution.’
Beeline Russia plans a pilot NB-IoT launch in Krasnodar by the end of 2018 plus the activation of LTE-M technology under its latest 5G strategic agreement with Nokia, which also covers testing/piloting other new technologies on the Beeline network in preparation for the transition to 5G standards, including Massive MIMO, additional LTE FDD/TDD carrier aggregation, and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA)-LTE. Furthermore, pilot launches of Virtual RAN and Transport SDN solutions are planned for 2018-2019.
SoftBank has completed a ‘world first’ connection test in a commercial environment for Non-IP Data Delivery (NIDD) – which is included in the 3GPP NB-IoT definition and enables users to send data to IoT devices without the need for an IP address, reducing the risk of malicious attacks and supporting end-to-end security in IoT platforms. NIDD also reduces power usage and extends battery life while allowing devices to cover larger areas. Akira Sakakibara, CTO of Microsoft Japan, said: ‘We expect NIDD technology to reduce communication load for IoT devices and accelerate utilisation in the IoT field especially for those who had difficulty in conventional conditions. As NIDD technology corresponds to open standards, it can easily connect to the Microsoft Azure IoT platform and enable data management, view and AI features. SoftBank and Microsoft Japan will continuously contribute to accelerating IoT technology utilisation in every industry.’ SoftBank now plans to select service providers and begin pilot NIDD services.
Lastly, Sigfox has announced that its LPWA IoT networks now cover over one billion people across 53 countries, with Austria, Liechtenstein, Romania, Norway, Kenya, Peru, Guatemala and Honduras most recently seeing Sigfox launches. French-backed Sigfox has grown rapidly since its first antenna was switched on in 2013, and today the unlicensed spectrum-based network has a country footprint which represents 90% of the world’s GDP, in five continents. Sigfox modules originally cost USD12, falling to USD2 by 2016, and today a USD0.2 module is available on an industrial scale, whilst service level agreements are guaranteed by all local Sigfox operators worldwide. The network covers many major strategic transport hubs, including airports, ports and train stations, offering support for the logistics and supply chain sector, whilst Sigfox ‘Monarch’ and ‘Atlas’ services provide global asset tracking. UK Sigfox operator WND-UK announced this week that its network coverage has reached over 50 million people.
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